Senators on West PH Sea collision: ‘A huge insult’ to Filipinos
by Aileen Cerrudo | Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019
Several senators have condemned the reported collision of a Chinese vessel and a Filipino vessel on Sunday (June 9), deeming it ‘a huge insult’ to Filipinos.
Sen. Joel Villanueva called the actions of the Chinese crew as irresponsible after they left the 22 Filipino crewmen in the West Philippine Sea.
“We strongly condemn the irresponsible actions of the Chinese vessel’s crew. Saving the lives of fellow seafarers should be top priority regardless of nationality or flag. The incident shows the need for greater accountability and enforcement of international laws in the West Philippine Sea,” he said in his statement.
Senators Franklin Drilon shares the same sentiment with Senator Panfilo Lacson. They are both questioning the friendly relationship between China and the Philippines.
Senator Lacson calls for a talk between the country’s leaders.
“This incident calls for a leader-to-leader talk. As I said, nothing short of serious punitive action by the Chinese government against those responsible can convince us of a real friendly relationship between our peoples,” he said.
According to Director, Institute for Maritime Affairs & Law of the Sea- University of the Philippines Prof. Jay Batongbacal this is not the first time a Chinese vessel hit another country’s fishing vessel.
“Marami itong beses na nangyari sa Vietnam binabangga ng mga Chinese vessel iyong mga Vietnamese fishing vessel, (It had occurred numerous times in Vietnam where a Chinese vessel hit a Vietnamese fishing vessel)” he said.
Batongbacal also seeks accountability for what happened. He said that the Filipino crewmen should be given compensation.
“Kung hindi tayo aalma, kung palalampasin natin ito baka ang susunod na diyan lahat ng ating mga mangingisda diyan sa West Philippine sea ay gaganyanin din, babanggain, iha-harass hanggang sa umalis na tayo sa West Philippine Sea, (If we will not protest, they might also target other fishermen in the West Philippine Sea. They might harass us until we leave the West Philippine Sea)” Batongbacal added.—(with reports from Nel Maribojoc)
He denounced the actions of the alleged Chinese crew for leaving the scene and abandoning the Filipino crew at sea.
Lorenzana also expressed gratitude to a Vietnamese crew in the area who came to the aid of Filipinos.
The family of one of the Filipino fishermen also thanked the Vietnamese crew for their swift action.
“Malaki po ang pasasalamat namin, kahit hindi natin sila kaano [kalahi] pero tinulungan po sila,” said Maria Fe dela Torre, whose husband owns the boat that collided with the foreign vessel.
They also expressed hope that the Duterte government will seriously investigate the incident and give justice to the Filipino crewmen.
“Ang unang reaksyon namin nagulat, nataranta kami tapos galit kasi bakit di nila tinulungan tao namin? Nakita nila na lumulubog,” said May dela Torre, kin of one of the fishermen, when asked about their initial reaction upon learning about the incident.
“Kasi kung ‘di talaga nila sinasadya or aksidente talaga, kung tao sila, titigilan mo, tutulungan mo. Wala eh. Umalis sila eh. Iba ang nagrescue sa kanila,” she added.
Lorenzana earlier said that China has been informed about the incident and a probe has already been launched.
He also said they are now verifying if the fishing vessel that hit and sank the F/B GIMVER 1 belonged to China.
Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture assured to provide assistance to the Filipino fishermen and to their families.
“Puwede kaming tumulong na maipa-repair at temporarily mawalan ng hanapbuhay ‘yung mga mangingisda. Pwede naming tulungan, mayroon kaming mga loaning program for them,” said Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte was “outraged” by the incident in Recto Bank on June 9, according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, when a Chinese vessel hit and sank a Filipino fishing boat and just abandoned 22 Filipino fishermen in the middle of the sea.
Panelo in a statement said that such action by Chinese crew members is not what humanity dictates, calling it “uncivilized” and “outrageous”.
Panelo said the incident may lead to a diplomatic rift between the Philippines and China if the Chinese government will not act on sanctioning the offending crewmen.
“Ano’ng (what) step? We will cut our diplomatic relations,” Panelo warned.
“Iyan ang unang ginagawa pag may aggressive acts. First may diplomatic protests ka. Kung di ka kuntento sa paliwanag nila at nakita nating sinadya, ibang usapan na iyon. Our responses will always be calibrated depende sa degree. But definitely, we will not allow ourselves to be assaulted, to be bullied,” he explained.
(That’s the first thing we do with aggressive acts. First, you file a diplomatic protest. If you’re not contented with their explanation and if the act is intentional, that’s a different thing. Our responses will always be calibrated depending on degree. But definitely, we will not allow ourselves to be assaulted, to be bullied.)
Panelo insists that China must act on the matter by investigating and bringing to justice all of its nationals involved in the incident.
“We call the Chinese government to probe the incident and to impose punitive actions against those at fault,” he stressed.
President Duterte in April emphasized that he may allow Chinese vessel near Philippine territory in the West Philippine Sea but he will not let it pass if their stay is already causing harm to the Filipinos in the area.
“Kapag iyan ang ginalaw ninyo, ibang istorya na iyan. Sabihan ko na ‘yang mga sundalo ko, ‘prepare for suicide missions,’” President Duterte said on April 4, 2019.
(If you hurt [my people] that’s a different story. I will tell my soldiers to prepare for suicide missions.)- with reports from Rosalie Coz
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